Thursday, 4 October 2018

Madness - Full House - The Very Best Of Madness


This is a superb collection of some of the best music from Madness from 1979-2016. It is largely singles releases. After all, they were a great "singles band". Their albums are fantastic too, and well worth checking out, but if one great single after another is your thing, then this is one hell of a compilation. It doesn't just cover the "glory years". Disc one does that. Disc two is full of the group's impressive later material.

The great thing about Madness is they don't really feel they have to move with the times and experiment with dance music, hip-hop or whatever. They stick pretty much to their ska/accessible reggae/rock rhythms and clever, insightful, often witty lyrics.

Madness were more than just good-time "nutty boys". Yes, their infectious brand of ska is something you can't keep still to, but, as I said, they also specialised in wry, observational lyrics, often concerning "ordinary" London characters. Their subject matter was not always happy either - heart attacks, depression, petty crime and miserable humdrum days spent under grey skies are all on the menu. Their songwriting is much under-rated as indeed was their musicianship, which is top notch throughout.

I have to say that the sound quality on this album is truly superb - warm and bassy but with crystal clear percussion. Wonderful. Highly recommended. You can't help but love Madness.


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